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nARCHITECTS’ design of a 6,000sf arts education and research space in Manhattan’s Chelsea for the Joan Mitchell Foundation celebrates the legacy of American artist Joan Mitchell and “expands her vision to support the aspirations and development of diverse contemporary artists.” The Foundation works “…to broaden the recognition of artists and their essential contributions to communities and society.”

The renovation occupies the second floor of a former New York Public Library for the blind – a paradoxical history for an organization dedicated to the visual arts. A central “Active Void” is equipped with four pairs of rotating wall panels, allowing the Foundation to flexibly reconfigure the space for a variety of needs, ranging from a gallery, to an auditorium for 80 people, to smaller teaching spaces, or an open loft-like space, among others.

A series of support programs including two art classrooms, a digital lab, Catalogue Raisonné, offices and storage occupy a packed perimeter zone beyond a wood and glass liner wall featuring apertures with integrated LED lighting incorporated within a custom curved and recessed wooden reflector.

Client: Joan Mitchell Foundation
Location: New York, NY
Status: Completed
Dates: 2012 – 2014
Sq Footage: 6,000sf
Program: Arts education, archive, events, offices.

Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Cheryl Baxter, Daniel Katebini-Stengel | Gabrielle Marcoux, Amanda Morgan, Alex Tseng

Collaborators: : MEP: Ettinger Associates | Lighting: Davis Mackiernan | Contractor: Northeast Contracting | Veyko (rotating panels) | Peter Iwan Custom Cabinetry Inc. (wall panels and millwork) | Owner’s Rep: Timothy Dumbleton

Photography: Frank Oudeman